Wives of Ganesha: Riddhi and Siddhi
In Indian mythology there are so many stories about Ganesha that determining his proper marital status is quite difficult and may easily be considered as a subject eligible for scholarly reviews. There are some myths that depict Ganesha as a confirmed bachelor – a bramhachari without any consort. While there are also some stories that shows him as the husband of Riddhi and Siddhi – known as the goddesses of prosperity and spiritual power respectively.
As per Mudgala Purana and Ganesha purana Riddhi and Siddhi are born from the mind of Bramha – the creator of the universe and were offered to Ganesha as his consorts by the creator himself. Ganesha accepted them as his wives and in many part of north India they accompany Ganesha but there is actually no rituals associated with Shakti worship to worship them. The story that relates Riddhi and Siddhi as lord Ganesha’s wife is quite interesting and fascinating at the same time.
As Ganesha has an elephant head on his shoulders no girl was ready to marry him and the absence of a consort made him really angry. Out of frustration Ganesha started to create problems in the marriages of other demigods and asked his rat to dig up the path though which their marriage procession will pass. The demigods faced innumerable hardship to reach their bride’s houses and ultimately complained to Brahma who took the responsibility of solving the problem. To bring the situation under control Brahma created two beautiful women Riddhi and Siddhi to accompany Ganesha as his consorts and Ganesha was ultimately satisfied with the offerings.
In Hindu pantheon Riddhi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Siddhi stands for intellectual and spiritual powers – the ultimate goal of this mortal world and the means of achieving that. Anybody who satisfies Ganesha with his devotion and prayer are also blessed by Riddhi and Siddhi and can attain every success in their life. in Riddhi and Siddhi Ganesha had two sons – Subha the auspicious and labha, the profit. Ganesha has also one daughter – Santoshi Mata or the goddess of satisfaction.
There is another story describing Ganesha’s marriage with Riddhi and Siddhi and that is both Ganesha and his brother Kartikeya were rivals for marrying Siddhi and Riddhi. In order to decide who will get their hands a race was arranged in which both of them were to circle the globe and who comes first will get the twin girls. Promptly Kartikeya went away riding his peacock. But instead of following him Ganesha started circling round his parent lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi and when asked why he did so he said that his parents were the universe in themselves and by circling around his parents he has circled around the universe. No one even the great scholar Narada had any answer to this and thus there was no other way but to marry him with the twin girls Riddhi and Siddhi. When Kartikeya returned home Ganesha was already married and Kartikeya had to satisfy himself by listening to stories of how he lost to greater wisdom and intelligence.